“The deliberate use of terms like “Chinese virus” has definitely fanned the flames of racism toward Asian Americans"
NBC reports that more than 650 racist attacks on Asian Americans were reported over the last week.
An online reporting from Stop AAPI showed that since its inception on 18 March, it received over 650 reports of discrimination against Asian Americans.
Attacks include being spat on, coughed on, asked to leave stores, taxi services refusing services and physical and online harassment.
Within this period, an elderly Asian woman was chased by a man with a sanitizer bottle. Even a front line Coronavirus hospital worker was caught spewing racist hate towards Asian Americans.
“It shows how pervasive and widespread these anti-Asian cases are occurring,” said Russell Jeung, professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University who compiled the data.
According to Jeung’s earlier research, there were over 1,000 cases of racism towards Asian Americans between 28 January and 24 February.
Although President Trump has since stated that the Coronavirus is “not the fault of Asian Americans”, he was heavily criticized for calling Covid-19 ‘The Chinese Virus’.
John C. Yang, president and executive director of the civil rights group Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAAJ, said Trump’s wording had an effect.
“The deliberate use of terms like “Chinese virus” has definitely fanned the flames of racism toward Asian Americans in this country,” he said.
“We have seen people associate the virus with Chinese people as they are assaulting them. It’s outrageous for any elected official to have been dismissive when the evidence of racist attacks continues to climb. Words matter and they often hold more weight when spoken by our politicians.”
At one point Trump even claimed that Asian Americans “would 100% agree” with calling the Coronavirus “The Chinese Virus”.
Most recently, a pair of young girls in Toronto were filmed racially assaulting an Asian woman, calling her a “Coronavirus bitch.”